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Hall & Oates sue in NY over `Maneater' recording
Legal Topics | 2008/11/05 22:10
Daryl Hall and John Oates have filed a lawsuit saying their music publisher failed to protect their rights to their 1982 hit "Maneater."

The pop duo's lawsuit says they learned in April 2007 that an unidentified singer-songwriter had used "Maneater" in a 2006 recording.

The papers, filed in Manhattan's state Supreme Court, claim Warner/Chappell Music Inc. breached its publishing contract with Hall and Oates by refusing "in bad faith" to sue for copyright infringement.

The singers seek unspecified money damages and want to terminate their agreement with Warner/Chappell.

A Warner/Chappell spokesman did not immediately return a call for comment on Thursday.

Hall and Oates' hits, which came mostly in the 1970s and '80s, also include "Rich Girl," "Private Eyes" and "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)."



Court leaves NC campaign finance law untouched
Areas of Focus | 2008/11/05 22:09
North Carolina's system of publicly financed judicial campaigns remained intact Monday after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a challenge over a provision for additional funds in expensive races.

The justices declined, without comment, to consider the constitutionality of a voluntary program passed by the Legislature and that took effect in 2004.

The program provides campaign money for state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals candidates if they agree to fundraising restrictions leading up to the general election. The decision came on the eve of an election in which all but two of the 13 candidates for those seats Tuesday participated in the program.

The decision leaves a federal lower court ruling in effect that upheld the law, which has been a model for other states, including New Mexico.

"This gives supporters of judicial public financing and public financing in general confidence and assurance that the long line of decisions (supporting) public financing ... are still the law of the land," said Paul Ryan, an attorney with the Washington-based Campaign Legal Center, whose group earlier filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the law.

Former Supreme Court candidate Rusty Duke and the North Carolina Right to Life Committee sued over the law in 2005, arguing it restricted free speech rights in cases where outside groups or nonparticipating candidates exceeded spending thresholds.



Court to decide on convict's right to test DNA
Legal Topics | 2008/11/03 22:09
The Supreme Court will decide whether, years after his conviction, a defendant has a constitutional right to test genetic evidence found at the crime scene.

The justices, in an order Monday, accepted the appeal of prosecutors in Alaska. They asked the court to overturn a federal appeals court ruling in favor of William Osborne, who was convicted of rape, kidnapping and assault in an attack on a prostitute in 1993.

The woman was raped at gunpoint, beaten with an ax handle, shot in the head and left for dead in a snow bank near the Anchorage International Airport.

Osborne admitted his guilt under oath to the parole board in 2004. Another man also convicted in the attack has repeatedly identified Osborne as having participated in the crimes. The testing would be done on a condom and hairs found by investigators.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, said Osborne has a right to subject the evidence to advanced DNA testing that was not available at the time of his trial.

Forty-four states and the federal government have laws that give convicts access to DNA testing, but Alaska does not.

Osborne urged the court to reject the appeal, saying that because so many states have laws on the topic, it rarely arises in federal court.

Prosecutors argued that even if testing determines that the hairs and sperm are not Osborne's, other evidence introduced at his trial is sufficient to leave his conviction in place. That matter is not before the high court.



GOP argument: Don't give President Obama a blank check
Legal Business | 2008/10/24 01:49

(CNN) -- A new Republican ad appears to suggest that Barack Obama has al but won the presidential race, an argument several vulnerable Senate Republicans may have to reluctantly embrace with only days until Election Day, an expert in campaign advertising said.

Some Republicans are already planning on a Barack Obama presidency.

Some Republicans are already planning on a Barack Obama presidency.

Aimed at Kay Hagan, Sen. Elizabeth Dole's surprisingly strong Democratic challenger in North Carolina, the 30-second spot from the National Republican Senatorial Committee warns voters against Democrats holding the White House and Congress, and flatly states that if Hagan wins, the party will "get a blank check."

"These liberals want complete control of government in a time of crisis, all branches of government," the ad's narrator states. "No check and balances, no debate, no independence. That's the truth behind Kay Hagan. If she wins, they get a blank check."

Committee Online Communications Director John Randall denied that the ad is suggesting that GOP nominee John McCain will lose out on the White House.

"The NRSC is not conceding a Barack Obama presidency," he said. "Fiscally irresponsible liberals like Kay Hagan are not the answer in these tough economic times and would only make things worse. Our ad was intended to highlight Hagan's many failings in light of the Democrats' promise to close debate should they control the executive and legislative branches of the federal government."

But with polls warning of a GOP bloodbath November 4, vulnerable senators in red states may have no other option but to suggest that Obama will capture the White House and warn that the Illinois senator needs to be checked by Senate Republicans. Video Watch more on the fight for battleground states »

"They are basically painting the picture that the presidential race is over," said Evan Tracey of Campaign Media Analysis Group, CNN's consultant on ad spending. "Overall, people prefer divided government. This is that divided government argument: 'Don't hand sole control over to one party.' "

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ABA Antitrust Fall Forum
Legal Interview | 2008/10/20 16:44
What will a new administration mean to the practice of antitrust lawand how will it affect Congress, the agencies and the courts in comingyears?  What changes can be expected at the Federal Trade Commissionand Department of Justice?  How will enforcement activity in the U.S.affect the international arena? How will the current state of theeconomy affect competition policy going forward?

The Fall Forumof the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law will addressthese and other issues relating to the impact of antitrust policy andenforcement on the national and global economy.  Antitrust officialsand practitioners will gather at the National Press Club in Washington,D.C., Nov. 13-14 for sessions exploring the full spectrum of recent andexpected developments in antitrust law and policy.  Section Chair JamesA. Wilson, conference chair Lynda K. Marshall and vice-chair David AHigbee will preside over the meeting.

Highlighting theconference will be keynote addresses on Nov. 13 by FTC Chair William E.Kovacic and U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Thomas O.Barnett.  Other noteworthy speakers at the annual forum include FTCCommissioner J. Thomas Rosch; Vinod Dhall, retired acting chair of theCompetition Commission of India; Anant Raut, majority counsel,Committee on the Judiciary; U.S. House of Representatives; HouseJudiciary Committee Minority Counsel E. Stewart Jeffries; Melinda ReidHatton, senior vice president and general counsel, American HospitalAssociation; Mark D. Whitener, General Electric Company; Deputy U.S.Assistant Attorneys General Deborah A. Garza and James J. O’ConnellJr.; Randolph W. Tritell, director, Office of International Affairs,FTC; and Robert L. Hubbard, director of litigation, Antitrust Bureau,New York State Attorney General. 

Programs on Nov.13 include:
  • Past is Prologue: Taking a Hard Look at the Last Administration’s Agenda and Accomplishments
  • The Substantive Scope of Section 5 of the FTC Act: Where are the Boundaries and Where Should They Be?
  • International Cooperation – Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Healthcare Reform – Lessons and Guidance From the Antitrust Front

Programs on Nov. 14 include:

  • Transitioning to the Next Administration – What to Expect From the Agencies, the Hill and the States
  • Grading the Agencies on Merger Process Reform
  • The Rise of Antitrust in the Far East – A Changing Landscape
  • The Litigious FTC: FTC Litigation and Administrative Process

For more information about the fall forum visit the section’s Web site at http://www.abanet.org/antitrust.

TheABA Section of Antitrust Law, with more than 9,000 members, is theleading forum for ongoing analysis of policies and developmentsaffecting competition and consumer protection law.

With morethan 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largestvoluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As thenational voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve theadministration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers andjudges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legaleducation, and works to build public understanding around the world ofthe importance of the rule of law.



Navy Refuses to Release McCain Car Crash Records
Legal Topics | 2008/10/20 16:39
Journalists say the U.S. Navy refuses to release documents about a 1964auto accident in which then-Lt. John McCain was involved, and injured,along with another man, outside the main gate of the Norfolk Navy Base.The Navy allegedly located the documents but refused to release them tothe National Security News Service, because "the Navy contended thatthe records could only have historical value and could not become abreaking news story."
    The news service says it is working ona story about McCain for Vanity Fair magazine, "including anexamination of his conduct in Norfolk and Portsmouth in the 1960s.Despite Senator McCain's prior 23 years of service as a Naval officer,the Navy has only released general summaries of his military career,"the federal FOIA complaint states.
    It continues: "Plaintiffsand Vanity Fair have developed from first-hand sources informationindicating that Lt. McCain was involved in an automobile accident onHampton Boulevard outside the main gate of the Naval Base at Norfolk,VA in July 1964. Plaintiffs' investigation has disclosed thatresponding civilian law enforcement officers recall the accident, thatanother person was injured, and that a Naval officer dispatched amessenger to take a change of clothing to Lt. McCain at PortsmouthNaval Hospital. Plaintiffs have also obtained documents showing thatlaw enforcement officers were ordered back to the accident scene toretrieve personal physical effects. The Navy has never publiclyacknowledged this information.
    "The fact of assignment toPortsmouth Naval Hospital, as to any Navy hospital, is a public recordnot protected by FOIA law or regulations." Nonetheless, plaintiffs say,the Navy refuses to release the documents, which it has located, on theabsurd claim that they "could only have historical value and could notbecome a breaking news story."
    The news service and itsreporter Christopher Law want to see "releasable Navy records listingassignments of Navy personnel to Portsmouth Naval Hospital in 1964."
    They are represented by Mark Nagle with Troutman Sanders.


Typhoon Restaurant sued by Immigrant Workers
Areas of Focus | 2008/10/10 16:08
A worker claims managers of the Typhoon! restaurant chain abusedimmigrant workers, confiscated their passports, denied them overtimeand medical care, threatened to deport them if they complained, openedtheir mail, stole their tax returns, forced them "to kowtow to theowners and purchase presents for them," and claimed to have "paid offthe Department of Homeland Security to do whatever defendants want."
    SarinyaReabroy sued the nine-restaurant chain and its managers, Steve Klineand Bo Kline, in Federal Court. She says that in 2003, Bo Kline inducedher to emigrate from Thailand, where she had a good job. Upon arrivingin Portland, she says, she and her co-workers were subjected tointolerable and illegal conditions.
    She claims "Typhoon! ruledthe workplace with iron fists of intimidation, coercion and harassment,targeting their Thai workers" with the abuses mentioned above, andthese abuses:
    subjecting them to dangerous working conditions;
    "tellingThai workers that defendant Bo Kline was 'Queen of immigration' andthat defendants have paid off the Department of Homeland Security to dowhatever defendants want;"
    threatening to sue them and their families if they complained;
    forbidding Thai workers to talk with "white people;"
    "intentionallydeceiving Thai workers about the overtime investigation conducted bythe United States Department of Labor in 2004-2004 and the subsequentpayment by Typhoon! of $120,000 to settle the matter;"
    "threatening to blacklist Thai workers for all employers both within the United States and abroad;"
    "forbiddinginjured Thai workers from seeing or treating with health careprofessionals and/or refusing them access to first aid;"
    "throwing dishes, utensils and food at them and propositioning them for sex;"
    "displaying beheaded and dismembered Buddhas in a manner offensive to Thai workers who were of the Buddhist faith;"
    "forcing the Thai workers to kowtow to the owners and purchase presents for them;"
    "confiscating Thai workers' tax returns;"
    and in other ways.She wants punitive damages and statutory and liquidated damages. She is represented by Beth Creighton


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